Dublin City University has announced a total of 20 new scholarships to mark World Refugee Day, with ten provided through a university partnership with FutureLearn, Europe’s leading online social learning platform.

The DCU/FutureLearn scholarships will enable Irish-based refugees and asylum seekers to access short online courses on FutureLearn’s upgrade model and pursue certificates of achievement.

There are now a total of forty scholarships available specifically through this partnership.

Of the other ten scholarships announced today, five will be provided through DCU Connected (the university’s online learning platform) and five will be on-campus undergraduate scholarships, one from each of the university’s five faculties.

To date, there have been more than 60 scholarships offered by DCU to people from a refugee or asylum-seeking background through either undergraduate on-campus study or online distance learning. A number of these scholarships have been supported through philanthropic contributions from supporters of DCU Educational Trust.

Today’s announcement builds further on DCU’s designation as a University of Sanctuary, announced in December 2016 in recognition of a range of initiatives demonstrating commitment to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into the university community, and to fostering a culture of inclusion for all. DCU was the first Irish university to receive this designation, awarded by the City of Sanctuary, an organisation that supports efforts in the UK and Ireland to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary.

The President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith said:

“The awarding of these scholarships indicates the strength of DCU’s commitment to our status as a University of Sanctuary, and to the values of social justice and inclusion. I am particularly delighted that our partnership with FutureLearn has allowed us to harness the power of online learning to provide educational access to students from our refugee and asylum seeker communities.”

Professor Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning said:

“These scholarships build on DCU’s strong commitment to promoting access to higher education and our considerable expertise in designing new models of online learning. In November, DCU will be hosting the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning in the Convention Centre Dublin.”

Mark Lester, Managing Director, Universities and Educational Partnerships at FutureLearn commented;

“Our mission at FutureLearn is to transform access to education so we’re delighted to be part of this initiative from DCU and to be extending our relationship with a partner who’s aligned with our mission.”

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